Dr. Reese received a B.S. degree in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry from Yale University in 1998. While at Yale, he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Axel Brunger on structural studies of mammalian vesicular transport proteins (SNAPs and SNAREs). After Yale, Dr. Reese spent two years teaching high school science to gifted students with learning disabilities.

Dr. Reese received a Ph.D. in Biophysics in 2006 from the University of California, San Francisco, where he worked jointly in the laboratories of Dr. Frances Brodsky and Dr. Volker Doetsch on the structural basis for the activities of proteins involved in protein trafficking and neuronal signaling. During his postdoctoral work with John Boothroyd at Stanford University, Dr. Reese made the surprising discovery that a family of catalytically inactive kinases, or pseudokinases, are essential to Toxoplasma's ability to cause disease in mice.  Dr. Reese went on to demonstrate that these pseudokinases are allosteric inhibitors of the immune-related GTPases, which are critical for the control of a variety of intracellular pathogens.

In the fall of 2013, Dr. Reese joined the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology at UT Southwestern. His lab is focused on determining the many mechanisms by which the ubiquitous intracellular parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, co-opts the signaling networks of its host organisms. His laboratory combines techniques from multiple disciplines: from classical and molecular genetics and cell biology to biophysics and structural biology. This allows the examination of problems at many levels, from the atomic order structures of protein-protein complexes to the analysis of the signatures of evolutionary competition written in the genomes of the parasite and its hosts.


Yale University (1998), Molecular Biophysics
Graduate School
University of California-San F (2006), Biophysics

Research Interest

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Cell signaling, kinases, pseudokinases
  • Host-pathogen interaction; co-evolution
  • Immunology
  • Structural biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

The assembly of lipid droplets and their roles in challenged cells.
Henne WM, Reese ML, Goodman JM EMBO J. 2018 May
Toxoplasma DJ-1 Regulates Organelle Secretion by a Direct Interaction with Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase 1.
Child MA, Garland M, Foe I, Madzelan P, Treeck M, van der Linden WA, Oresic Bender K, Weerapana E, Wilson MA, Boothroyd JC, Reese ML, Bogyo M MBio 2017 Feb 8 1
The Toxoplasma pseudokinase ROP5 is an allosteric inhibitor of the immunity-related GTPases.
Reese ML, Shah N, Boothroyd JC J. Biol. Chem. 2014 Aug
Impact of Regulated Secretion on Antiparasitic CD8 T Cell Responses.
Grover HS, Chu HH, Kelly FD, Yang SJ, Reese ML, Blanchard N, Gonzalez F, Chan SW, Boothroyd JC, Shastri N, Robey EA Cell Rep 2014 May
Expression of the essential kinase PfCDPK1 from Plasmodium falciparum in Toxoplasma gondii facilitates the discovery of novel antimalarial drugs.
Gaji RY, Checkley L, Reese M, Ferdig MT, Arrizabalaga G Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2014 Feb
A robust methodology to subclassify pseudokinases based on their nucleotide binding properties.
Murphy JM, Zhang Q, Young SN, Reese ML, Bailey FP, Eyers PA, Ungureanu D, Hammarén H, Silvennoinen O, Varghese LN, Chen K, Tripaydonis A, Jura N, Fukuda K, Qin J, Nimchuk Z, Mudgett MB, Elowe S, Gee CL, Liu L, Daly RJ, Manning G, Babon JJ, Lucet IS Biochem. J. 2013 Oct
Virulence without catalysis: how can a pseudokinase affect host cell signaling?
Reese ML, Boyle JP Trends Parasitol. 2012 Feb 28 2 53-7
A Toxoplasma gondii pseudokinase inhibits host IRG resistance proteins.
Fleckenstein MC, Reese ML, Könen-Waisman S, Boothroyd JC, Howard JC, Steinfeldt T PLoS Biol. 2012 10 7 e1001358
A conserved non-canonical motif in the pseudoactive site of the ROP5 pseudokinase domain mediates its effect on Toxoplasma virulence.
Reese ML, Boothroyd JC J. Biol. Chem. 2011 Aug 286 33 29366-75
Chemical genetic screen identifies Toxoplasma DJ-1 as a regulator of parasite secretion, attachment, and invasion.
Hall CI, Reese ML, Weerapana E, Child MA, Bowyer PW, Albrow VE, Haraldsen JD, Phillips MR, Sandoval ED, Ward GE, Cravatt BF, Boothroyd JC, Bogyo M Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2011 Jun 108 26 10568-73


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • NSF CAREER Award
  • UT Southwestern President's Research Council Distinguished Researcher Award
  • NIAID K22 Research Scholar Development Award
    Career transition grant (2011-2016)
  • American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow